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Manning hopes rookie Nix plays: 'Experience is your best teacher'

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Peyton Manning knows firsthand that rookie quarterbacks can struggle in the NFL, but the Hall of Famer still would like to see the Denver Broncos play Bo Nix in 2024.

"Experience is still your best teacher," Manning said Wednesday when asked if he had some advice for Nix, according to Andrew Mason of

"There's lots of philosophy and debates on whether you sit a rookie or you play him right away. Obviously, Patrick Mahomes sat for a year, and he's been in the AFC championship every year since. If he would've played as a rookie, I still think he would've had the same success. I played as a rookie, it was not a fun year."

Manning won a record five NFL MVP awards and is widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. However, the 1998 first overall pick struggled in his rookie campaign as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, completing just 56.7% of his passes while throwing a league-high 28 interceptions.

Denver drafted Nix 12th overall in April as the sixth QB off the board. He was projected to be selected later in the draft, but general manager George Paton and head coach Sean Payton have said they were instantly sold on Nix while evaluating this year's quarterback-heavy class.

The Broncos are desperately trying to find consistency at QB, as the team has yet to make the playoffs since Manning retired at the end of the 2015 campaign. With Manning under center from 2012-15, the Broncos posted a 45-12 record, made the playoffs every year, and reached two Super Bowls, winning one.

Nix is expected to compete for the starting job with Zach Wilson and Jarrett Stidham. The 24-year-old Nix started 61 games in college football and accounted for 94 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Oregon.

"They're going to play the best quarterback, but there's no question - I think any quarterback would tell you: Being out there on the field, you just learn more things than you do sitting on the sideline," Manning said Wednesday, adding, "Sean will make that decision, but I do think experience is your best teacher. It's a marathon, it's not a sprint.

"I went 3-13 my rookie year and didn't play very well. We went 13-3 the next year. There's no way that would've happened had I not played and kind of gone through those struggles."

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